Students Cash In Lessons On Saving

A real working bank on the Charles B. Murphy Elementary Campus is teaching students to save and manage their money. The program received the governor's Partners in Education Award last year. It's a lesson students will carry throughout their lives.

"How much are you going to deposit in your account," Bank Teller Shirley Hamilton asked.

It's a Hancock Bank mini-branch with most everything you'd find at one of its larger branch offices.

"I'm going to give you this receipt and next time we'll update it for you."

The tellers are Hancock Bank Employees. The customers are students at Murphy.

"When the kids come in to make their deposits they may have 50 cents, they may have 10 or 15 dollars, but they're really excited they have their money and they have their pass books."

The mini-bank is open once a month. Most students bring part of their weekly allowance from home to deposit.

"The children receive a monthly statement and the accounts actually accrue interest, so our children learn that not only can they save money, but their money will make money," School Librarian Jeanne Brooks said.

The lessons are adding up.

"It's a partnership first of all between the educational world and the business world. It combines theory with actual practice, so students learn about saving and financial management and mathematics," Hancock Bank Public Relations Director Paul Maxwell said.

Most students have a good idea of what they're saving for.

"I think I want to save my money for college," 4th grader Caurtney Bennett said.

Hancock Bank has partnered with two coast schools for the banking program - Charles B. Murphy and Jeff Davis Elementary School in Biloxi.

by Al Showers